On June 7, we were saddened by the passing of recording engineer and friend, Mark Richardson, 49, after a two-year battle with cancer. This loss in the music community will especially be felt in Atlanta, Nashville and New York, where he dedicated 30 years of his life to the recording arts. His recording abilities held no boundaries, great art was never hurried, and he never compromised a single dB for the sake of the clock.
I’m lucky to have grown up with Mark. We played in our first band at age 12 in 1965, and co-founded Atlanta’s Triclops Recording Studio 25 years later. Before moving on — and back to New York City — Mark was at Triclops for the first four years of its eight-year run. Mark’s many recording credits include working with artists such as Kool & The Gang, Ben E. King, Joan Jett, Drivin’ ‘n’ Cryin’, The Brains, Georgia Satellites, the Indigo Girls, Tinsley Ellis, Mark O’Connor, Warren Haynes and many others. He also engineered the Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream, which brought the band to national attention.
While working at Triclops on Warren Haynes’ Tales of Ordinary Madness in 1992, tracking went longer than we had anticipated, and we would have been lucky to have one or two songs mixed before the project had to leave, as the Pumpkins were booked into the studio next. Late one night, only Mark remained, so I walked into the control room to say goodnight. But I never said a word — I just watched this man for a few minutes. The control room was extremely dark, and Mark didn’t know I was there. He was mixing “Tattoos and Cigarettes.” His eyes were shut, and like silk sliding off a just-waxed table from the breeze of a fan, the music danced around the room. For several minutes, I watched this beautiful melding in complete awe, the sound consistently improving in tiny increments; then I caught my breath and went home. Mark was a true artist, an extraordinary person and will be missed so much that words can’t convey it.
Memorial donations should be sent to: Fuqua Orchid Center at Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309; VH1 Save the Music, 1515 Broadway, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10036; or the Colon Cancer Alliance, 175 Ninth Ave., New York, NY 10011.